Lack of affordable housing is always an obstacle to economic viability, especially for single moms with a goal of career-track education. Thanks to a 15-year commitment by Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority board, Jeremiah Program’s future Rochester 40-apartment campus will receive dedicated funding from Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8 Vouchers.
The county’s action will assure that funding for 20 apartments stays with the program complex to ensure long-term support for the Jeremiah mission and future families needing temporary support. Dedicated funding will keep rents at the campus affordable and help the nonprofit focus on educational goals of post-secondary degrees for its participants and early childhood education immersion for their preschoolers.
“Jeremiah Program participants pay part of their housing,” said JoMarie Morris, executive director of Jeremiah Program Rochester-Southeast Minn. “There is still a substantial chasm in housing costs and this commitment will be a tremendous help. It allows Jeremiah to offer deep, temporary support while single mothers do the hard work of pursuing their education and careers that will be life-sustaining.”
Jeremiah is a transformational program promoting independence for families headed by single mothers. With short-term, deep support, it helps families develop the capacity to be self-reliant and most graduates are off public assistance within five years.
The Rochester campus plans to break ground this summer, building a 64,836-square-foot, 40-apartment campus with on-site child development center and much more.
According to a report in the Post Bulletin, “the 20 dedicated vouchers are part of the 556 federal vouchers approved in the county.”
“Our strategy is not to create a life-long dependency on public assistance but use it strategically as interim support building long-term sustainability,” Morris said.